Changes are being implemented on how you order your repeat prescriptions.
GP practices will no longer accept repeat prescription requests from pharmacies.
You (or your carer, nominated family member/friend) will have to order your repeat prescription from your GP practice.
Please note these changes are in relation to the ordering process only – pharmacies are still able to collect prescriptions from GP practices; receive prescriptions electronically and deliver medications and other items to your home.
What is a repeat prescription?
A repeat prescription allows you to get your regular medication without having to see a doctor each time.
There are different ways for patients to order their repeat prescriptions.
Some patients manage their own repeat prescriptions by placing their requests with their GP Practice or by ordering them online. However, other patients use a pharmacy to place their repeat prescription order on their behalf.
Why is the ordering process changing?
Other Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) around the country have introduced this change in ordering repeat prescriptions.
Evidence from other CCG areas shows that when you order your own prescriptions this is not only safer but also reduces waste because:
- Ordering your repeat prescription directly from your GP practice means that your GP can better monitor your medications
- Under the old system, some patients reported that they began to build up a large stock of unused medication. A lot of this medication could not be stored safely or be used within ‘use by’ date – which is a safety concern.
- Unused medicines or ‘medicines waste’ is estimated to cost the NHS Wirral approximately £2.1 million every year. This money can be used to fund other health care services in Wirral.
Before implementing any changes, 8 Wirral GP Practices took part in a staged pilot programme which involved patients ordering their repeat prescriptions from their GP Practice, as opposed to ordering their medicines from a pharmacy. This pilot ran from November 2016-April 2017.
The pilot practices included;
- Civic Medical Centre
- Claughton Medical Centre
- Moreton Health Centre
- The Orchard Surgery
- The Villa
- The Village
- Upton Group Practice
- Whetstone Medical Centre
The aim of the pilot was to generate the same positives outcomes seen in other areas around the country and also to understand any operational issues with the new ordering process.
A review of the pilot scheme highlighted some positive outcomes, and an evaluation report will be available shortly.
How do I order my prescription from the GP?
You (or your carer/nominated family member/friend) will have to order the repeat prescription from your GP practice.
The prescription will need to be ordered using one of the following options:
- Drop off or post to the order slip into your GP practice – the order slip is the white, tear off part of your repeat prescription (see image below) selecting only the items you need. If you don’t have your slip please put your request in writing listing the medications you require (this should include the full name and strength
- Ordering online* – it is easier than you think and the practice will help you to set this up.
- Mobile applications* – Free mobile apps (such as patient access) are available to download on your smartphone. Once downloaded you can order your repeat prescriptions from the mobile app.
Unfortunately, practices are unable to take prescription requests over the phone as mistakes are more likely due to:
- Confusion with drug name pronunciation
- Errors made when writing out the request
*Online/Mobile applications are not yet available at all Wirral GP practices. If your GP practice does offer one or both of these services then you may need to present identification to your GP practice in order to set this up. Please contact your practice for more information.
Before your order your repeat prescription from your GP practice
- Check how many days of medication you have left before ordering your medication
- You will need to order your repeat prescription from your GP practice when you have 7-10 days of your medication left
- It usually takes your GP practice 2-3 working days to issue a repeat prescription
- Remember to only order the items you need
- If you feel you might need support ordering your repeat prescription or you know someone who might need help; please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on:
- 0800 054 2137 (freephone) or 0151 363 3948
- or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- or post to: PALS Wirral Information Resource for Equality and Diversity Ltd (WIRED), Unit 7, Wirral Business Park, Arrowe Brook Road Upton, Wirral CH49 1SX
The PALS service is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
Worried about being able to cope with this change?
If you are worried about the impact of this change on yourself or someone else please contact your GP practice.